Rankings Roundup: How Computers and Pundits See Prep Basketball
I’m starting to like these semi-regular looks at the variety of state polls out there. Here’s the latest on how a handful of lists with numbers next to them, only one of which has any real impact on a team’s season in any way, are evaluating basketball.
2As: #1 East Valley (Spokane), #2 Archbishop Murphy, #3 W.F. West, #21 Centralia
2Bs: #1 Ilwaco, #2 St. George’s, #3 Napavine, #5 Davenport, #6 Wahkiakum, #9 Toledo, #15 Mossyrock
The Rub: W.F. West and Napavine each at 3 seems low, but that’s fine. I’m more curious as to Davenport being ranked fifth when they’ve got a pretty good guard and are holding the gold ball. Napavine, by the way, is really good, and the Ilwaco-Napavine district title game everyone has pretty much already determined is going to happen should be fun.
2As: #1 Anacortes, #2 W.F. West, #3 Columbia River, #5 Selah, #24 Black Hills, #29 Centralia
2Bs: #1 St. George’s, #2 Toledo, #3 Napavine, #4 Kittitas, #5 Adna, #6 LCA, #7 Toutle Lake, #12 MWP
The Rub: I have hopped on the “W.F. West is good” bandwagon. They ARE good! That 2-3 zone with Jordan Thomas and Colby White up top is just murderous, and if they’re knocking down 3s they’re extremely hard to defend. The problem, though, is that the EvCo as a whole isn’t all that tough this year, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Meanwhile the C2BL is apparently the toughest league in the state despite having only one team that trophied last year, and that trophy was sixth, and that team lost the trophy game by 21.
2As: #1 WFW, #2 ATM, #3 EV-Spokane, #5 Washougal, #6 White River, #7 Black Hills, #31 Centralia
2Bs: #1 Napavine, #2 Ilwaco, #3 Wahkiakum, #5 Davenport, #6 Mossyrock
The Rub: Scoreczar values W.F. West’s work more than Mr. Evans, but that’s fine. The actual numbers have WFW at 2.32 and ATM at 2.35, and they’re the only 2A GBB teams under 3.2, so I think that means they’re a cut above or something (I think Scoreczar explained his system to me back when he was a Grid Picks guest, but I can’t recall the details off the top of my head. Yes, I just name-dropped the twitter handle for a computer program and this is where I’m at in life now.) And in the 2Bs Napavine behind #1 over Ilwaco works for me; Napavine beat Wahkiakum by 41 and Ilwaco beat Wahkiakum by 12. The fact that Wahkiakum’s #3 should be a pretty nice pat on the back for Tiger fans. The problem, though, is that the rest of the C2BL is about two steps behind Napavine.
2As: #1 Anacortes, #5 Selah, #6 Columbia River, #15 Mark Morris, #16 WF West
2Bs: #1 Kittitas, #2 SG, #3 Adna, #4 Toutle Lake, #5 MWP, #9 Napavine, #10 Winlock, #11 Toledo
The Rub: WF West at #16 is a bit of a shock, especially given they just beat Mark Morris by a respectable margin. And the 2B board is pretty C2BL heavy, but Adna at #3 feels about right, as long as somebody’s got Kittitas at #1. I like to keep defending state champs ranked pretty high, especially if they’ve got all their starters back and another year of experience on their Gonzaga-bound point guard.
The News Tribune Rankings
2As: #1 WFW, #6 Black Hills
2Bs: #1 Napavine, #2 Ilwaco, #3 Wahkiakum, #5 Davenport
The Rub: W.F. West and Napavine are solid picks, but if I’m Davenport right now I’ve got all of these lists printed off in size-144 font and hanging on every wall in the locker room.
2As: #1 Selah, #2 Anacortes, #7 Columbia River, #8 WFW
2Bs: #1 Kittitas, #2 SG, #3 Adna, #4 Toledo, #5 LCA, #6 MWP, #7 Napavine, #8 Toutle Lake
The Rub: Selah’s pretty good. That Elijah Pepper can really fill it up. Are they better than Anacortes? … I don’t really know anything about Anacortes, so sure, maybe. W.F. West hitting the top 10 is cool, especially for a program that went winless when this year’s seniors were freshmen. There’s a good chance they’ll be seeing #7 Columbia River in the district title game, and there’s also a good chance W.F. West could sweep the district title games on Feb. 16 at St. Martin’s.
The WIAA RPI Board
2As: #1 EV-Spokane, #2 ATM, #3 Lynden, #4 WFW, #5 BH
2Bs: #1 Ilwaco, #2 SG, #3 Davenport, #4 Mabton, #5 Napavine, #7 Wahkiakum
The Rub: If this were to stick (and it won’t), W.F. West and Black Hills could wind up playing in the district title game and then play again in a both-teams-to-state-but-one-gets-a-bye, 4-vs-5 regional game. Wouldn’t THAT be fun? I love when teams play four times a year and THEN have a shot to meet a fifth time at state! Hey, wait, where are you going?
The 2B board is also fine, but I think the C2BL’s lack of depth this year is going to hurt Napavine and Wahkiakum, and not just from a “fairly easy regular season” standpoint. Napavine’s opponents’ winning percentage is only .476, while Ilwaco’s is .597; since that’s half the RPI equation it makes a big difference.
2As: #1 Anacortes, #2 Lynden, #4 WF West, #5 Columbia River, #6 Selah, #27 Black Hills
2Bs: #1 SG, #2 Toledo, #3 LCA, #4 Adna, #5 Kittitas, #6 Napavine, #7 TL, #13 MWP, #14 Winlock
The Rub: W.F. West at 4 is fine, but given the rest of the EvCo’s positions — Black Hills is the only other team in the top 30 — it might be tough for the Bearcats to move any higher. Selah’s ranked behind Lynden, despite beating Lynden in the SunDome Shootout.
The 2B board is pretty bonkers. Toledo at #2 is a little high, but nonleague games with Chief Leschi (#10) and Kittitas (#5) have helped. The six C2BL teams in the top 14 all have opponents’ winning percentages above .520, which speaks to the strength of the league. HOWEVER! As I’ve pointed out before …
Toutle, Toledo, Adna, Napavine, Life Christian and MWP are all in the top 10 on the 2B boys RPI board. District 4 only has five berths to regionals this year, so one of them is missing state.
— Aaron VanTuyl (@ChronAVT) January 11, 2018
There’s this little issue.(Why, who’s THAT handsome fella?) The RPI board has a whopping eight District 4 teams in the top 14 and five in the top seven, not counting MWP at #13. District 4’s only got five spots to regionals, BUT, with so many of them ranked in the top eight, there’s a chance all five could make regionals and wind up in Spokane.
Also: It’s probably to early to be looking at the district bracket, but I’ve been looking at the district bracket, and it’s going to be a fun one.